For those looking for an early decision from four-star Hartwell (Ga.) linebacker Jae Thaxton, they may want to take a load off for a while.
“I’m wide open right now,” said the Hart County star, who is rated the No. 9 inside linebacker in the nation. “I’m nowhere close to making my decision or anything. There’s a bunch of teams with a good chance right now.”
“There’s LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Florida, Auburn, Notre Dame… pretty much all of them,” Thaxton said. “I need to spend a little more time talking to the coaches and learning about the programs before I can narrow that down. Right now, I’m just trying to decide where to take my visits.”
One school already has a date. Thaxton (6-3, 225, 4.7) has scheduled Jan. 23 with the Fighting Irish.
Asked what put Ty Willingham’s team on the official list, he said: “Mainly it’s their tradition. It’s a school my mother has always talked about when I was growing up, that it would be nice if I got to go to school there someday. I figure if she’s that impressed with them, it’s a place I ought to go check out.”
Thaxton also noted that Florida State and Georgia will likely be stops on his trail of official visits.
“I went down to Florida State for a camp this summer and really liked it,” he said. “Everything was great there – the coaches and players and facilities… the whole atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to going back and checking out the rest of the campus.”
And how do the home state Bulldogs rate at this point?
“High. Extremely high,” Thaxton said. “They’re probably sitting up there at the top. They may be tough to beat out, but when I go on my visits, a lot of things can change.”
Thaxton has made four unofficial visits this season. He saw Georgia’s game against South Carolina, Clemson’s game against Georgia, Auburn’s game against Tennessee and Florida State’s game against Miami.
Asked which one he enjoyed most, Thaxton said: “Auburn. Most definitely.”
“Honestly,” he said with a laugh. “They had this fine little recruiting girl with me. She was crazy. They had some fine looking girls down there.”
Through six games this season, Thaxton has lived up to his reputation as a one-man tackling machine. He’s recorded a whopping 112 tackles (18.6 per game) and two sacks.
As a junior, he tallied 151 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, five sacks and one interception.